Rating: 3.5 Stars
Formats: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle
Quite Good/Okay/Somewhere In Between
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a sucker for a fun romance, and Lori Foster's written several that I've very much enjoyed. In Tempted: Little Miss Innocent?\Annie, Get Your Guy\Messing Around with Max (Hqn), we get three connected novellas of varying length as two brothers and a sister stumble through the murky and dangerous quagmire of love and relationships.
In Little Miss Innocent we meet Dr. Daniel Sawyers, the eldest of the Sawyers siblings. His mother died when his brother and sister were just young kids and his father's grief at her loss robbed the children of both their parents. No matter that Daniel himself was far from an adult, he stepped into the parental role. He took care of them, became the father figure, and that responsibility at such a young age changed him. It made him very rigid. Very responsible. Very staid and respectable. Everything that Lace McGee, sex therapist, isn't, and Daniel positively loathes that about her. The fact that he can't catch his breath and his pulse pounds whenever she's around, and he has hot dreams that feature her in exquisite detail doesn't mean she's right for him, though...does it? 4 Stars.
Annie, Get Your Guy brings us the story of the baby of the family and the Sawyers siblings' only girl. Annie has been desperately in love with family friend Guy Donovan for years, but he's just as bad as her brothers when it comes to being overprotective, and despite all her best efforts, he hasn't seemed to notice that Annie's now an adult. In fact, she's a sexy, sensual woman out to seduce the only man she's ever wanted. Guy's convinced that any moves on Annie would be a heinous breach of the Sawyers family's trust...but how can he forget just how fantastic she is? Can Annie convince Guy that loving her is the only thing right for both of them? 3 Stars.
As the middle child and confirmed Lothario, Max Sawyers has been around the world and more than knows his way around the female mind and body. You could say it's been a life study for him. Known as the family reprobate, Max is in the process of turning his life around. He's got new responsibilities and a damaged dog that desperately needs some love. In Messing Around With Max, though, Maddie Montgomery slams - quite literally - into the bookstore Max is watching for his sister and storms Max's heart and soul with little more than a wet tee shirt, torn pants, and affection for his irascible dog. Only problem is, Maddie's not interested in a relationship, just a notch on her bedpost. How can Max, the reformed rake, convince Maddie, the determined sexpot, that together forever is what they both deserve? 3.5 Stars.
These are three charming contemporary romances from one of the paramount romance authors, and each story is light, fun, and easy to read. I felt Dan and Lace's story, Little Miss Innocent? was the most thorough, providing the strongest plot with the most character definition and most attention to conflict and resolution. All three stories had a healthy dose of humor with one or two serious issues threaded throughout, like the abandonment of their father and the very real sense of responsibility these siblings have for each other.
Annie, Get Your Guy was the shortest of the three stories, and also suffered from the least amount of character definition and plot. It tread the line between short story and novella in complexity, but in truth, there was also a bit of Annie and Guy's character and relationship development in Little Miss Innocent, so at least some of that could be forgiven. This particular story, though, focused too much on the sexual chemistry and not enough on the emotional and mental connection, I think. It seemed quite a bit more superficial a relationship than Dan and Lace's in parts.
Messing Around With Max was just a whole lot of lighthearted, silly fun. I didn't take it too seriously, and as a reader, if you don't either, you'll enjoy it just fine. It was very light on substance and plot development, though it tried with the addition of some of Maddie's friends who have a checkered past and with the conclusion to the arc of the Sawyers siblings father issues. The idea of Maddie trying to rebuild her self esteem by throwing herself at Max to get some hands on Sex Ed experience following a humiliating break up seemed less than noble, but Maddie was a sweetheart that quickly fell for Max's soft side and Max was endearing, so I forgave the cotton candy coating on the story and just appreciated it for what it was.
Individually these stories were fun to read, together Tempted: Little Miss Innocent?\Annie, Get Your Guy\Messing Around with Max (Hqn) is a nice compilation and worth the time and money if you're like me, and every once in a while just love a healthy dose of brain candy. 3.5 Stars overall.